Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ALA Connect: Phase One

ALA Connect: Not Just Another Social Network

“It’s like Facebook–but for librarians,” we’ve said, all-too-simply (and inaccurately) in categorizing ALA Connect, ALA’s new centralized virtual space.

That’s a facile comparison to make, but really Connect is more than that. Not just another social network, ALA Connect will help members engage in ALA business and network with others. It’s a single virtual location in which ALA members can collaborate and work on division, round table, and committee projects with an impressive spread of tools: blog-like posts, online documents, group calendars, surveys and polls, chat rooms, discussion forums, and RSS/email alerts to track progress.

[snip] But ALA Connect effectively reins in all the would-be unofficial online channels and tools and puts them under one roof, officiating them under the ALA brand. [snip]

In typical Web 2.0, perpetual-beta style, Connect is being released in what ALA is calling “phase one” and will never be a finished product. Monitoring the site to track how well it meets members’ needs will help inform designers about the potential for new tools, resources, and tweaks. New features and enhancements will be released on a regular basis.



ALA Connect FAQ

ALA Connect replaces the existing Online Communities service that ALA currently offers as a virtual, collaborative, workspace online. [snip]


Every active ALA group already has a space in Connect automatically, because we've pre-populated it with data from our membership database (iMIS), and we synchronize member data nightly, so we'll always know which committees you're on and which other official ALA groups you're part of.

Both ALA groups and communities use the same types of tools. By default, each one has blog posts, online documents (like wiki pages), a calendar, polls, a chat room, a discussion board, and images (logos, pictures, etc.). The group can use whichever of the tools it finds valuable.

Non-members will be able to register in Connect to create a free account, but they will only be able to view and add to public content. [snip]


You can read more about the history (and future) of ALA Connect on the ITTS Update blog, particularly in the Roadmap that we posted there.


Learn more about ALA Connect in general

Learn more about what you can do on ALA Connect



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Connecting: Online Social Networks For Organizations

Conferencia de GERRY McKIERNAN

Iowa State University Library / Ames IA USA

La Importancia de Estar Conectados:

Fecha: 11 de marzo de 2009

Lugar de celebración: Biblioteca Nacional de España / Paseo de Recoletos, 20

While Facebook and MySpace are among the better-known general online social networks, there are an ever-increasing number of online networks that have emerged for and within a wide variety of communities.

Among many others, these include networks for Academe and Education, People of Color, Boomers, LGBT groups, Religion, and Researchers and Scholars.

This presentation will provide an overview of a variety of niche online networks, and a detailed review of select niche social networks created to better connect and engage clients, customers, patrons, and staff, within and outside of organizations.

Self-Archived PPT [137 Slides] Available At

Archived MP3 Audio [52:15] Available

Conference Page With Links Available At

SEDIC Blog Posting

ABC National [Spain] Daily Newspaper Interview

While the slides for this presentation are substantially identical to those at The CALSI 2009 Workshop in Valencia, Spain on March 10 2009,


the narrative was specific to the overall theme of the Madrid forum.

I am most grateful to Maria-Jesus del Olmo, Director, Information Resource Center U.S. Embassy / Madrid, Spain; SEDIC – Asociación Española de Documentación e Información; and Milagros del Corral Beltrán, Director, Biblioteca Nacional de España, for making my visit and presentation possible.